THE Orchestra of the Swan’s artistic director, David Curtis, is swopping music scores for running shoes, in the battle against the effects of dementia

Last year, Mr Curtis vowed to take live music to every care home in Warwickshire and Worcestershire which cares for people living with dementia.

In aid of this cause, this year he’ll run the London Marathon to raise funds to enable more Orchestra of the Swan musicians to deliver this activity.

The Virgin Money London Marathon is on April 23 this year, and is a traditional hotspot of charitable activity with many runners dressing up for their chosen good cause.

All participants will be running the full 26 miles and 385 yards long course, starting around Blackheath and finally finishing in The Mall alongside St. James’s Park.

Orchestra of the Swan players who contribute to dementia sessions are trained by specialist music therapists from Mindsong.

Sessions involve various combinations of instruments such as oboe and viola and include renditions of classical pieces, hymns, folk songs and plenty of well-known songs for people to join in with.

A spokesman said: "Hearing is often the last sense to be affected by dementia, so music becomes increasingly important to those living with this condition.

"The orchestra’s commitment to this activity has been a consistent part of its community engagement since 2009 and working with expert therapists from Mindsong has added an integrity and level of awareness that is invaluable to their work in this area."

Cello player, Matthew Forbes, cello, who delivers workshops to people with Dementia, said: “This needs to happen more. Live music changes people’s mood in a way that nothing else does. It matters, and it matters to us as musicians. Music is magic. It is medicine.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor Mr Curtis should go to the Virgin Money Giving page: